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Linking the eligibility criteria of childcare subsidies with the mother's employment status

Type: Parliamentary Questions

Topic(s): Children & Families, Financial Assistance & Social Support


Ms Anthea Ong
Nominated Member of Parliament

Question

To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development whether the Ministry intends to delink the eligibility criteria of childcare subsidies from the mother's employment status and, if no, what is the rationale for keeping employment status as a criterion.

Answer

1. All parents, regardless of their working status, are supported with basic subsidies for childcare for their Singapore Citizen children. As working mothers have a greater need for childcare while they are at work, the Government provides them with higher basic subsidies, as well as means-tested additional subsidies, if eligible. The mother’s working status is thus a criterion for higher subsidies.

2. Notwithstanding this policy, the Government does exercise flexibility where the mother is unable to work, and yet requires childcare services. ECDA is planning to provide better subsidy support, especially for low-income families, and will announce details at MSF’s Committee of Supply.

3. Non-working mothers who do not require full-day childcare can enrol their children in half-day kindergartens, which are shorter and often more affordable than full-day childcare programmes. Families with children enrolled in kindergartens run by Anchor Operators and the Ministry of Education may be eligible for means-tested kindergarten subsidies, which do not depend on the mother’s working status.​​